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Fresh drum heads & spicing up stale playing routines

The Positive Spin on Drums

by Chris Belin

Fresh drum heads & spicing up stale playing routines :)

   Late Sunday night I did a percussion maintenance session at YCS studios, replacing drum heads on one of the house kits. I fitted the "almost vintage" Ludwig toms, 12X9 and 16X16, with Remo vintage emperor coated tops / ambassador coated bottoms. This was the first time I used the vintage emperors. They are slightly thicker than the originals, which helps bring out more warmth and low end. After some playing and experimenting with different tunings, I decided to film some sound samples for today's blog. The heads worked well at a variety of pitches, especially in the low mid range, which the clip below showcases. Overall I was really pleased with the results, as was the engineer. I feel any drummer seeking out a good solid Classic Rock sound would be satisfied with this combination. Honestly If I had to use tom heads like these for a Jazz gig, I'm sure I could totally make it work. 

  Also for the video, I decided not to use any cymbals, a concept I learned from Stephen Perkins in 1998. His philosophy is basicially spend some time playing the drum set without any cymbals, to rethink or reinvent your style. He said he spent almost a month doing that once. I spent the bulk of my playing session this morning cymbal free as I've done many times before. For me, the experience is rewarding. Plus you get to hear the tom sound with no cymbal interference! I've done the opposite as well, only playing the cymbals. I'll be demonstrating that in a future blog! Till next week...

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